The new Wizarding World logo is being billed as a way to reflect what’s going on in the franchise over the next few years, but it also reveals that J.K. Rowling is finally allowing others to dive into her creation.
This is what my colleague Eric Scull said as we discussed the new logo on Wednesday’s new episode of MuggleCast. I think he’s right.
The breath of Wizarding World canon has always been limited by the number of hours J.K. Rowling can devote to it. To her credit, she’s always kept tight control over who can create within her world. In fact, there’s only one example of Rowling officially endorsing something she didn’t write as canon, and that was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Now she’s taking larger steps in opening her world up.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 29, 2015
I got a little sad when we spoke about what the logo means because it’s the end of an era. By not having her name on all Wizarding World products, she’s implying that she isn’t necessarily responsible for it. Now, thanks to the new logo, she doesn’t have to take the blame for any subpar work of other creators. If something is good, then fans will naturally give her credit since the product stems from her idea.
For reference, here’s the old logo. As you can see, J.K. Rowling’s name is prominent. This appeared on everything related to The Cursed Child, Pottermore, Fantastic Beasts, the Wizarding World parks, etc. It tells us that this is J.K. Rowling’s creation. She had her hand in it.
Here’s the new logo, which subtracts J.K. Rowling’s name and adds the wands of nine prominent characters.
The average person will not know that those wands are necessarily associated with the Harry Potter series. Putting JKR’s name in the logo was a much better way to associate a product with the Harry Potter series, but today, it’s more important for Jo to not take responsibility for every product.
Case and point: There are two Wizarding World mobile games coming out later this year called Harry Potter: Wizard’s Unite and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Both exist within her world, both use her characters, both have freakin ‘Harry Potter’ in the title, but neither are canon.
And take a look at Pottermore. Previously, the header included “from J.K. Rowling” under the Pottermore logo. Now the logo is void of her name, though there’s still a prominent link to where you can find her work.
Without J.K. Rowling’s name in the opening credits of the game, without her name in the header of Pottermore, without it appearing on spinoff books, no longer will there be confusion over who made something that’s an official product of the Wizarding World franchise.
I’m not saying she’s quitting the Wizarding World entirely. Of course not! As far as we know she’s writing all five Fantastic Beasts film scripts. She’ll continue to have a say in things like the theme park. She’ll surely have the ability to squash any franchise ideas she doesn’t like. But when she does like an idea, and she doesn’t have the time to do it herself, she might give the project to someone else.
One major project that I believe is inevitable, that she won’t have a deep hand in, is a Harry Potter TV series. With companies like Apple, Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, Disney, and HBO all competing for your streaming dollars, you know at least a couple of them are begging WB and Team Rowling to do a Harry Potter TV show. It would compete with Amazon’s Lord of the Rings, Disney’s Star Wars TV show, HBO’s Game of Thrones spinoffs, and Netflix’s various hits. Someone needs the Potter name to stay competitive.
Rowling loosening the reigns isn’t necessarily bad news. We’re all clamoring for more from the Wizarding World (A Marauders story! A Harry Potter TV show!) and Rowling is only one person. The new logo puts them on the path that Star Wars is on: Hiring new (white male) creators to open up the world that George Lucas created.
If Jo and her team pick the right people and drink a little Felix Felicis, fans can look forward to remarkable Wizarding World film series, TV shows, and books in the decades to come. Warner Brothers, Scholastic, and other businesses need Harry to keep making money. All they need is Jo’s permission to open the world up. With the absence of her name in the new logo, Jo says yes.